James Construction Group had used HCSS HeavyBid estimating software since 1999 to estimate and bid heavy civil construction jobs across the country.
But when the company was acquired by Primoris Services Corporation and began to grow, JCG was tasked with hosting the HCSS software licenses for several other Primoris subsidiaries on its dedicated Citrix system as well. Combine that load with the growing accounting department that was also using the same server, and JCG was facing major speed issues.
“There were times we had issues like running out of Citrix licenses or maxing out the number of licenses available to us, and we would have to ask IT to start kicking people out so that my estimators could access HeavyBid,” JCG Estimating Manager Jim Richard said. “And there was a pinch point, a traffic jam, where all this information was trying to get through one lane of traffic. When the estimators press a key and have to wait for screens to cycle and update, that’s not efficient.”
In order to combat these issues, Richard spoke to the HCSS support department, which diagnosed the traffic problem and offered several solutions.
The winning fix? HCSS Cloud Services.
The HCSS cloud can host any desktop-based HCSS software program, either from the desktop application or through a web browser. HCSS HeavyBid, HeavyJob, The Dispatcher, and Equipment360 are all accessible from the cloud, so they can be accessed by anyone with a license from any location, without clogging up a company’s servers.
The update, for JCG, made a major difference immediately. During a three-month testing period with four users, JCG pitted the HCSS Cloud against Citrix. The company’s remote offices were able to access HeavyBid three to four times faster. In the home office, where they were directly tied to the server, the cloud was more than double the speed of Citrix.
“After testing the cloud in the field, all the estimators who tested it asked me right then and there to turn the cloud on so we could get right to using it,” Richard said. “We turned Citrix off after a month of being in the cloud because the cloud has worked so well.”
JCG is HCSS’s largest cloud customer. And not only is the cloud faster for the estimators, but it is also saving the company time and money.
Richard said he and the JCG’s IT director calculated how much time the IT department normally spent dealing with technical support for the Citrix system while hosting HeavyBid for the estimating department. When they put dollars to the hours, the totals were shocking.
“There was an increased cost in going to the cloud, but it was easily offset by all the tech support they’re not going to have to deal with now,” Richard said. “The only thing we rely on our IT department for now is to provide Internet access. Any tech support issues we have, we call in and HCSS solves them right away.”
HCSS updated the way we host our Cloud Services this year to provide even more speed to customers. The delivery is now faster and easier than ever, as users can access their programs from any device, anywhere, using a web browser.
The updates have also improved setup and deployment speeds for new customers, and the new environment’s Tier 4 data center has a 99.999 percent availability guarantee.
“We’ve fine-tuned it,” HCSS Cloud Services Manager Ketul Parekh said.
For JCG, however, Richard said he’s just glad to be rid of some headaches. While his estimators are already running down to the wire to get bids in at the deadline – often working through the night – he said they no longer have to worry whether their estimating program will continuing working with them.
“It’s a matter of all those seconds of waiting that kills us at the end,” Richard said. “You get to a point where you don’t have any more time to work, and you have to close that bid out. The HCSS Cloud has made us more efficient, and that is the name of the game. We want to get more bids out. “
JAMES CONSTRUCTION OVERVIEW:
• HeavyBid user since 1999
• Hosted all HCSS software for Primoris on Citrix server
• Accounting department using same Citrix server
• Running out of Citrix licenses daily
• Three-month testing period with HCSS Cloud
• Four users during testing period
HOW HCSS CLOUD PLATFORM HELPED:
• Access HeavyBid, HeavyJob, Equipment360 and The Dispatcher from the Cloud
• HCSS-provided technical support
• More bids out because of faster processing
• Saved time and money
• HeavyBid access that is three to four times faster
• Double the speed of Citrix in the office
• No more 2 p.m. slow down that freezes computers
“The HCSS Cloud has made us more efficient, and that is the name of the game. We want to get more bids out.”